Health Foundation Year for Medicine

Our Health Foundation Year for Medicine is an exciting gateway route into medicine for students from some under-represented groups. This course offers standard medical training with the addition of a Foundation Year (a total of six years).

Students entering the Foundation Year will undertake a range of modules to bring their academic level up to an equivalent standard to that of direct entrants to year 1 of the Medicine A100 course.

This programme is intended for school-leavers – applicants who are currently studying A level or equivalent qualifications.  It is not open to graduates, students who have already commenced or completed another HE programme or overseas applicants.  

Applicants must meet the following Essential Criteria from Group 1 and 2 to be considered for this route. Applicants must provide evidence of meeting the essential criteria at the point of application. We will send you an email to request this information.

Group 1

Applicants must meet all the following -

  • Ordinarily resident in the UK
  • Attended a non-selective maintained school for GCSEs and A levels
  • Attended a school with an attainment 8 score below national average (level set on an annual basis).

For schools without an attainment 8 score only, we will consider schools where the % of students on free school meals is above the national average OR if this is not available, we will consider POLAR 4 data, quintile 1 of the school.

Group 2

Applicants must also meet one of the following -

  • Parent(s) or guardian in receipt of means-tested benefit(s)
  • Time spent in local authority care (more than three months) within the last five years (i.e. in Years 9–13)
  • Eligibility for free school meals at any point in Years 9–13
  • Receipt of 16–19 bursary for purpose other than meals
  • Receipt of UCAT bursary. Bursaries are available to cover the test fee for applicants from less well-off families. We strongly advise applicants to apply for the UCAT Bursary if they are eligible. Please check the UCAT web site for details.

Students on the Keele Steps2Medicine scheme or those leaving local authority care will be eligible for consideration for this route and should include this information in their UCAS application.

Applicants from military families will be considered if they have attended a non-selective school and meet the academic criteria.

GCSE Requirements

5 GCSEs at grade B/6 including

  • double/triple-award science or three separate sciences (including a pass in practical endorsement)
  • minimum of C/5 in Maths
  • minimum of C/5 in English language (including a pass in speaking and listening)

Level 3 qualification requirements

Qualification Requirement
A levels   BBC from three A levels including chemistry or biology
BTECs DDM in BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science, Health & Social Care, or Sport & Exercise Science
or DM in BTEC Diploma plus B in A level (chemistry or biology)
or D in BTEC Extended Certificate with BB at A level (including chemistry or biology
Scottish Highers    Advanced Higher: minimum of BB from two subjects (including biology or chemistry)
Higher: minimum of BBBBB and
National 5s: 5 x B including sciences; minimum of C in maths and english language

As the course is intended for school-leavers, we strongly advise Access to HE Diploma (Medicine) students to consider applying for the A100 Medicine course.  Please note, we only accept the Access to HE courses lists in our entry requirements

Applicants who meet the social and educational criteria for the health foundation year but meet the academic criteria for the Medicine A100 course are strongly advised to apply for A100 as they are unlikely to benefit from the additional year of study. If successful at interview, they may qualify for a reduced offer.  See our widening participation information section for more details.

Reapplication for 2023

Applicants can only reapply to Keele once.  Any further applications will not be considered.

All applicants with a UK/Home fee status must take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) in the year of application (i.e. in 2022 if applying in October 2022 for 2023 entry). 

Details of the test, along with fully timed practice tests, are available on the UCAT website

Bursaries are available to cover the test fee for applicants from less well-off families. We strongly advise applicants to apply for the UCAT Bursary if they are eligible. Please check the UCAT website for details.

Applicants with a total UCAT score lower than 2280 or a situational judgement test (SJT) result in band 4 will not be considered.

How to apply

All applications must be submitted via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). We do not accept direct applications.

The UCAS deadline for submissions is 15th October 2022 for entry in September 2023 or deferred entry in September 2024. 

Applications should include the institution code for Keele University (K12) plus the appropriate course code -

  • A100 for the Medicine degree
  • A104 for the Health Foundation Year route

Applicants will be considered for the route they have applied for.  This cannot be changed after the UCAS deadline date for submissions. 

Roles & Responsibilities form

The Roles and Responsibilities form provides an opportunity for applicants to tell us about:

  • experiences they have undertaken that demonstrate their direct engagement with people in a supportive, assistive or caring role
  • their ability to handle responsibility
  • their understanding of how somebody has benefited from help, support or care they have provided

Submitting the form

An email will be sent after the UCAS submission deadline inviting applicants to complete the Roles & Responsibilities form through the Applicant Portal.  This will also include the deadline for submission.

Upon completing the Roles & Responsibilities form an email will be sent acknowledging receipt of the form.  This is evidence that the form has been submitted successfully.

Forms that are

  • not successfully submitted (i.e. an email receipt has not been received)
  • submitted after the deadline

will not be accepted. 

Scoring the form

Admissions Tutors will assess the Roles & Responsibilities form against the following criteria:

  • commitment to one or more role(s) involving direct engagement with people, ideally with an element of care or support
  • the value of the role(s) undertaken, in terms of contribution to the wellbeing of others and/or demonstration of appropriate personal characteristics
  • the level of responsibility taken in any of the above roles, or other roles listed on the form
  • a clear example of a situation where applicants have done something that had a significant beneficial outcome for another person
  • any exceptional achievements or circumstances

Guidance notes

The questions on the Roles & Responsibilities form are provided below, with some guidance on how to complete them. Further information about what candidates should include will not be provided.

Roles & Responsibilities Guidance Notes


Applicants who meet all of the following criteria will normally be selected for an interview

  • Essential Criteria
  • Academic requirements
  • UCAT requirements

Interviews are usually held at the School of Medicine building on the Keele University campus. Each candidate will have a similarly structured multiple mini-interview. The format for interviews for 2023 entry is currently to be confirmed, and will be detailed here once verified.

Interviewers are drawn from the University, local healthcare settings (hospital and community) and the wider local community. All interviewers have undergone specific training for interviewing prospective medical students.

We reserve the right to alter the form of the interview to allow all interviews to be conducted on an equitable basis under any restrictions that may be imposed. This may include conducting interviews remotely by video call.

Interviews are likely to take place during the period December 2022 to March 2023.

Successful applicants will be informed of their offer through the UCAS Hub.  All offers will include requirements to complete occupational health checks and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearances.

The Occupational Health team will contact all applicants who accept their offer regarding the health checks.

The Admissions team will contact all applicants who accept their offer regarding their DBS clearance.

Successful applicants will be invited to attend an Applicant Visit Day. 

In order to progress onto the five year MBChB Medicine programme students need to achieve:

Semester 1 modules - 40% pass (45 credits)

Semester 2 modules - 70% progression mark (75 credits)